Facebook bug made millions of users' default settings public

Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

Facebook flaw changed millions of users’ posts from private to public

The company is also still recovering from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm got access to the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users.

Facebook hasn't released specifics on the amount of users and posts involved other than it being up to 14 million. This means any posts that they made could be read by anyone regardless of their default setting. The company's chief privacy officer shared a very brief statement, "We'd like to apologize for this mistake".

It's the latest in a series of revelations about Facebook's privacy lapses.

Facebook says it didn't make the posts private until May 27, so it's possible that mere acquaintances could have seen sensitive info during that nine-day span. We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time.




The company said that it's informing 14 million of its users who may have accidentally shared their posts publicly because of this bug. People could have changed the individual audience setting on posts, but would have had to notice the setting was different from what they'd chosen.

The news followed a recent furor over Facebook's sharing of user data - oversharing, in the eyes of many critics.

For those who are affected, Facebook will be displaying privacy notifications that appear when a user logs into Facebook via the web or mobile app. In the meantime, it has reverted the audience for any affected posts to whatever setting the user had selected previously. During that time, the privacy settings on some users' posts were changed to public without any warning. "These featured items are publicly visible, but Facebook inadvertently extended that setting to all new posts from those users".

VentureBeat has reached out to Facebook for more information about who may have been affected and will update this story if we hear back.

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